Back to the convention report, then, with just a note that I really liked Arnold Stang's work, even if Top Cat and Herman and Katnip cartoons were not what I liked best:
So skylerbunny and I went off in search of bunny_hugger and maybe to find what we might call our extended party. While I was still working out just how nervous to be about meeting people I'd known online for up to a decade and a half, well, in they came, and we said very quick hellos to a group that managed, somehow, to look exactly like I had pictured them. This correlation wasn't completely mysterious: I had seen bluerain's pictures several times, and heard her singing voice some. And I'd seen orv's picture, although never heard his voice. The closest we'd come was once when we tried chatting by ham radio. That approach might have worked, but it turned out the radio antenna I was using was pointed the wrong way, and even if it hadn't been it wasn't connected to the wire leading back to the radio shack, and even if that had been the wire wasn't connected to the room I was in, and even if it had been the radio I was on wasn't connected to that wire's output. I think it also turned out orv was pulled away unexpectedly so there wouldn't have been anything for me to hear. Still, he looked like what I figured he'd look like. How kevinjdog and augustforth looked right I don't know.
Still, something else they had in common was a need to get places, since bluerain was a guest of honor, and orv her fiancee was following closely along, and kevinjdog was a former guest of honor, and add to that their role in selling books and artwork and they had specific places to be. So I had barely the chance to nod and smile amiably and a little nervously and they needed to be off, with some vague talk about getting together for dinner and there was also something about miniature golf. We would get to miniature golf, although not on Friday; also, we would learn later that bunny_hugger and I share a mystic power that everyone else, skylerbunny included, lack, specifically, the ability to locate restaurants.
If I'm not grossly mistaken the next thing we got to was the rapidtrabbit and friends show, an hourlong and loosely scripted thing of puppet performances and sing-alongs. I suspect that I've got all the precursors for an outbreak of puppeteering, and bunny_hugger is much farther along, so this sort of thing appeals quite to me. It gave me the chance to meet rapidtrabbit for the first time, something not built up with quite as much anxiety as with the expanded group of friends mentioned above. I was glad to say hello and even eavesdrop on some talk of what was planned for the variety show the next evening. (Probably it wasn't intended but rapidtrabbit's mention of a holiday song connected with the transportation systems of Manhattan gave away to me the punch line the project would involve. I kept quiet about it so people who didn't remember quite so much about New York City mass transit would have a shot at being surprised.)
I also got to see Vixie for the first time in a decade, complete with the new Vixie puppet, which was a surprise as I didn't realize either was going to be there. We get along very well; in fact, strangely, I think we get along as better friends than could be objectively justified from shared backgrounds and experiences. I realize this is an insane thing to feel is slightly off, particularly since I like the friendly feelings between us. Still, you know that pattern of stepping back into an old friendship; that's what it felt like to me.
Also after the close of the Rapid T Rabbit show proper came, someone wound up babsbunny and set her running in a performance that cannot be adequately described in words or in kilowatts. But hers was a stunning display of improvisational ... bizarreness ... based around a Donnie Wahlberg doll and ... uh ... there was a manatee puppet and ... there were hats, and ... it was all a kind of madness, really.
As babsbunny kept on going in a performance --- if you can call it a performance when she seemed indifferent to whether there were an audience; most people had filed out, but a few stuck around, fascinated or hypnotized --- that ran something like a half-hour we also met up with poinktferret, learning that he would be doing a half-hour of stand-up later in the afternoon. It also produced the discovery that I've been following his journal for ages; I didn't connect his in-con stage name with the Livejournal name. This isn't as embarrassing as the time I failed to recognize my mother's name, but it was a surprise, certainly.
bunny_hugger and I plunged back in seeking through the dealer's room and then the Artists Alley in search of someone to do a proper pair of con badges for us, and it was along this way that we ran into several other celebrities or at least people we'd like to celebrate. This naturally includes ursulav, whose artwork --- in the least surprising revelation ever to be revealed --- we both quite like. On some encouragement bunny_hugger said so to her, which I figure took up something like two-fifths of ursulav's weekend by volume, but which probably holds up well even to repetition. We also wandered around to another artist whose name I don't remember that bunny_hugger quite likes, although he felt so much more comfortable with ungulates than with rabbits that he didn't feel he could do a sketch or badge properly.
Still, after some wandering around and admiring such things as the stand selling flashy lighting things perfect for the evening dances or general sparkliness, we located someone in Artists Alley who was happy to do a pair badge, and who even knew enough about coatis to be willing to try drawing one. Probably helping matters is that I've never developed a particularly rigorous set of requirements about how `Austin Dern' looks, past the quadruped lifestyle, not even down to which of the two name-brand species he should be presented as. I'd kind of figured just getting the shape right was plenty. So I'm not one of those demanding commissioners. bunny_hugger's patterns are a bit more specific, but there's a lot of freedom there too.
Eventually we'd got around the various rooms where stuff was for sale a couple of times and delighted in what looked attractive or interesting. We stopped off by bluerain and kevinjdog's table, where they were minding the fort and drawing in fans, and with further vague talk about dinner we went off to poinktferret's comedy show. babsbunny had wound down by then, or maybe had been captured and was being held in a secure room, so he was able to give his talk about a particularly interesting night which he had spent, and congratulations to him for the successful performance.
This got us pretty safely to a good time for dinner. All we'd need would be somewhere that bunny_hugger, vegetarian, could eat with me and skylerbunny; for that matter, what if we could meet up with the extended company?
Trivia: Names Bell labs rejected for the transistor include the ``surface-state amplifier'' and the ``iotatron'' (from iota as in something small). Source: Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched On The Modern World, David Bodanis.
Currently Reading: The World Of Mister Dooley, Finely Peter Dunne. Edited by Louis Filler.